Monday, December 24, 2012

BG's POP 2012 in Review


Fave POP Albums of 2012

1) Ellie Goulding - Halcyon - Ellie Goulding exceeded my expectations. I listened to this album for 20 days straight non-stop. It's mournful. It's alternative. It's POP. All of that makes it the most exciting record we've heard all year. Check out our review: http://unapologeticallypop.blogspot.com/2012/10/ethereal-ellies-halcyon.html

2) Regina Spektor - What We Saw from the Cheap Seats - Yes, Regina's orally created faux drum beats are incredibly annoying, and it's true, she's not one for album to album reinvention. However, we can always rely on her for a beautifully composed piano ballad. In an era of constant change, Regina makes music we can hold onto.

3) Lana Del Rey - Born to Die - The Paradise Edition - Though she's hypersexualized, Lana/Lizzie's music is pretty fresh, so much so that mainstream American radio DJs won't play her tracks. The mix of classical music with hip hop beats hits the spot. The Paradise edition really satisfied with great production by Rick Nowels on American, Pussy Cola (see what we were saying about the oversexing? I'm sure Lana's pussy tastes delicious, but I'm allergic to cats), & Body Electric. Marina, you got the short end of the Rick Nowels production stick. Compared to his work for Lana, Nowel's material on Electra Heart sounds like a drunken night on Garage Band. I think we can guess who makes him more moolah...

Most Disappointing POP Album of 2012

1) Rihanna - Unapologetic - No, I don't find this album disappointing because she's back with Chris Brown. In fact, one of my favorite tracks is Nobody's Bitness, their collab which samples Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel. This album simply sucks. I expected something that would top #TalkThatTalk's We Found Love. I was told we would get more collaborations with Calvin Harris and his protege, Burns, and so I expected some glorious four to the floor anthems a la Robyn. Instead, we got Diamonds, in which Rihanna intentionally mispronounces diamond in the last verse without the "M" so as to sound more ghetto-fabulous. STOP. It didn't work for JLo, and it won't work for you. The filler dance tracks with David Guetta aren't even songs. They're just sythns sequenced together into danceable nothings. Yuck. Fortunately, the album does have one saving grace: Stay, the gorgeous piano ballad composed by frequent Lana Del Rey collaborator Justin Parker. I could listen to it forever and be happy.

Unapologetically (it was our blog title first, RIRI!!!!),

Barry Gregory